What It’s Like to Be a Modern Dater

I saw this photo, and I had a realization.

 

This photo depicts exactly what it’s like to be a modern dater.

 

We know out there somewhere is a view (a person) who is going to take our breath away… that person we’re going to love, respect, and appreciate with all our heart… One day we’ll be married, sitting in a room of perfectly nice people, and our spouse will walk in. And we’ll think to ourselves, “WOW! What a catch! He/she is more attractive to me than anyone else in here.”

 

But right now we can’t see the view (person) we were expecting.

 

All we can see is the clouds.

 

Now, if we were staring up from underneath (a place of depression), these clouds could be pretty mundane and depressing, blocking out the sun.

 

Yet, if you climb the mountain and look down at the clouds (from a place of joy), they are really quite beautiful!

 

Dating in the modern world is really quite beautiful.

 

I imagine it kind of like this. Picture that the man is really a giant, and he knows that somewhere under the clouds is his future wife, and his future wife is holding a magic potion that will shrink him down to normal size so they can live a normal life. So he sticks his big hand down through the clouds, and, starting at the left end of the valley, he picks up the first woman he can find. He looks at her for a moment and enjoys the pleasure of her company, but he realizes she is not his wife. And he puts her back. He gropes around under the clouds, a little further to the right, and he picks up another woman. She looks a little more like his wife, but she points out that he needs to work on his relationship skills and requests that he put her back. This process continues. The man keeps finding people who are more and more like what he wants in a wife, and he works on improving himself. Eventually his works his way clear to the right side of the valley to the home of Mrs. Right. He picks her up, she gives him the potion, and they live happily ever after in the beautiful valley.

 

-What would have happened if the giant gave up and quit trying to find his mate?

 

-What would have happened if he got angry at the clouds and everyone in the valley instead of appreciating the beauty and working with what he had?

 

-What if he decided that he was unlovable and let himself go, getting fat and smelly, and unkempt?

 

-Would he have been such a pleasant, attractive person when he found Mrs. Right?

 

-Would she have eagerly accepted his proposal?

 

Post your thoughts in the comments!

5 Things You Can do to be Happier While Single

  1. 1. Build a healthy routine.

  • Get a calendar.
  • Schedule work
    • Obviously you need money. ūüėČ
    • A purpose helps too.
  • Schedule exercise.
    • I like to have a friend come to my house and¬†workout with me.
    • Find a workout accountability partner or trainer.
  • Schedule time to buy and prep healthy food.
    • As a working single person, sometimes I like to make a big meal on the weekend and eat leftovers during the week.
    • Tackle this one thing at a time, so you don’t get overwhelmed.
    • Start by¬†buying a healthy breakfast cereal or eggs for breakfast for a few mornings per week.
    • If you’re feeling energetic, plan one day a week to shop and chop your veggies for the week.
  • Schedule time to upkeep your personal appearance.
    • Think nail clipping, hair styling, eyebrow plucking, shaving.
    • Think of anything you might not have time to do well daily, and schedule at least one day a week to catch up on those tasks.
  • Schedule time with friends, time with family, and regular social outings.
    • See below.
    • I like church
    • I like girl’s night out
    • I like Saturday morning coffee at a local shop with a friend.
  1. 2. Build a strong network of friends and family.

  • Go out for coffee one day a week with a friend. (I like Saturdays)
  • Do something nice for a family member at least one day a week.
  • Read¬†How to Win Friends and Influence People and apply the tips to your interactions.
  • Be genuinely interested in people.

 

3. Get a Pet – Or Don’t

  • If you love animals and have none, a puppy could bring a lot of joy!
    • Get one.
  • If you hate the mess and have 1,000 cats, consider finding them new homes. ūüėČ
    • (LOL. That was a reference to the cat lady joke)
  1. 4. Develop your career.

  • Further your education
    • You have the freedom to move to school campus if you need to.
    • Or, get an online degree
    • Or ad a certification to your resume
  • Apply for that promotion.
    • You’re single. You can¬†offer a lot of flexibility¬†to your company.
    • This is the time to take chances.
  • Make a career change
    • If you hate your job, this is your chance to make a change!
    • Decide what career field will bring your joy each day, and dive in.
    • If you have to start at the low end of the totem pole, that is ok.
    • Just apply for a job in a career path that you know you would love.
  1. 5. Enjoy the little things, and incorporate them shamelessly into your day.

  • Think of a guilty pleasure that brings you joy, no matter how silly it sounds.
    • I love watching TV shows on Netflix and YouTube.
    • I love fresh raspberries even though they are ridiculously expensive in winter.
    • I love fresh flowers even though they aren’t a necessity.
    • I love chocolate even though it contains sugar.
  • Indulge in at least one item per day.
    • Relish the experience
    • The key is moderation.
    • Aim to include as many tiny joys in a day as you can, while still maintaining good physical, spiritual, and social health.

3 Actions You Can Take to Get Happy Single

Happy Single Action 1

Buy yourself flowers!

  • Key Concept: Date yourself. If it makes you happy when a date buys you flowers, buy some for yourself. If it makes you happy when a date takes you to dinner, take yourself to dinner. If it makes you happy when a date buys you chocolate, or shoes, or a new gun (for you guys), buy it for yourself. Enjoy the hit of dopamine you get. Repeat.

Happy Single Action 2

  • Pet a dog!

  • Key Concept: Duh. Dogs are happy creatures that love us. How can you not get a hit of dopamine from petting one? Think of its wagging tail, its excited gestures, its loving eyes… awwww.

 

Happy Single Action 3

  • Play outside with kids!

  • Key Concept:¬†This is a bonus one. You could potentially get at least 3 benefits.
  • 1) If you’re babysitting, you’re helping someone else. That makes you feel good.
  • 2) Kids have a zest for life that is uplifting. That makes you feel good.
  • 3) Sunshine and exercise make you feel good.

 

How to Feel Better After a Breakup

Have you ever noticed that the happiest married people you know were also the happiest single people you knew before they got married? Go back and read that sentence again. Have you ever noticed that the happiest married people you know were also the happiest single people you knew before they got married?

I have heard from multiple married friends that prior to meeting the spouse, they got really happy. (Have you heard the same thing from your friends? If so leave a comment and tell us how many friends said this to you.)

How can this concept apply to you when you’re going through a breakup? Think long term. You want to get married one day, right? You want to be happy in your marriage, therefore you want to be happy before your marriage, correct?¬†You want to be happy while you are single.

But your heart is crushed right now. Some days it feels like you want to die. Some days you just want to lay in bed, eat ice-cream, and cry.

But you want to feel better. You want a step by step game plan. And here it is!

  1. No Contact – (decide if you want your ex back or not)

How long should the no contact be?

In most cases 30 days seems to be a good length of time. I recommend checking out Chris Seiter’s websites, ex-boyfriend recovery and ex-girlfriend recovery for further research on what is right for you.

What is the goal of no contact?

The goal of no contact is to give yourself a set amount of time to recover from the raw negative emotions of the breakup and get to a calm, stable, attractive place. From this place you can decide whether or not you want your ex back. If you want your ex back, you can work toward building a new and better relationship with him/her. If you don’t want your ex back, you can begin looking for someone new.

Keep in mind, you have a much higher chance of getting into a relationship from a happy place rather than a desperate place.

  1. Sleep

What difference does sleep make?

Quite a bit, actually! Read more about how sleep can make you feel better in my article “2 Science Backed Ways to Be Happy Single” http://thehappysingle.com/2017/04/01/2-science-backed-ways-to-be-happy-single/

 

  1. Exercise

Will exercise help me feel better?

Short answer. YES! Science show that exercise helps us feel better emotionally. Check out my article “2 Science Backed Ways to Be Happy Single”¬†http://thehappysingle.com/2017/04/01/2-science-backed-ways-to-be-happy-single/¬†for further reading.

Bonus!

Regular exercise can also help you tone up, lose weight, and boost your confidence.

 

  1. Spiritual Improvement

Can spiritual improvement really help me feel better?

In the long run, YES! And this is the one tip I am giving you that you may not see on main stream ex recovery websites.

I certainly don’t want to get preachy here on the happy single. All are welcome here, whether you are religious or not, no matter what religion you are! I think there are 2 main principles here that you can use to help you feel better.

#1 Peace with God = Peace in your soul.¬†When we do things that don’t align with our moral compass, our self confidence can erode, and we can feel guilty. Obviously, if we then get right with God and straighten out our lives, we can feel better! I for one really like to have peace at the core of my being, in my soul.

#2 Prayer can = Stress/worry¬†reduction.¬†A psychological benefit occurs for women (possibly men too) through talking things out. The great thing about prayer is that we can talk to God about all of our worries and stress and fears, and we don’t have to pay a therapist. God is happy to listen. That can make you feel better!

Also God is able to answer our prayer requests. He doesn’t always say yes. He could answer with, no, wait, or yes. However, God has answered countless prayer requests for me! That definitely makes me feel better! Knowing a being so powerful cares enough about little old me to do something I asked him to… that is just an AMAZING feeling! It is a feeling I hope you, my lovely readers, will experience many times.

  1. Physical Improvement

What can I physically improve on?

I asked this question, and your mind probably flashed to that one part of you that you know deep down can be improved. This is your chance! Pick one aspect of your appearance to improve on. Once you have conquered that, add in another area, until you are fully confident in how you are presenting yourself to the world. A word of caution here… don’t be self conscious about things you cannot change. Maybe you are short (like me) or tall or bald or older. Accept yourself for you are. Love yourself for who you are.¬†Your goal for this point should be to learn how to present the best version of yourself you possibly can to the public, and practice doing that most of the time.¬†You never know when you might bump into your ex in public or when a friend might post a picture of you to Facebook that your ex will see.

Ideas include: exercise, eat healthy, count calories, do your hair in a more flattering style, update your wardrobe with more flattering clothes (research what colors look best on your skin tone, what shapes look best on your body type, and what colors are most attractive to the opposite sex), groom your eyebrows, trim your nose hair or ear hair (guys), do your nails, do your toenails, update your skincare routine, straighten your teeth, whiten your teeth. And here is a bonus. Wear perfume or cologne and deodorant! People might not physically see it, but it can definitely make you more attractive if you smell good rather than bad.

 

  1. Social Improvement

Will social improvement help me feel better?

Yes. Yes, it will.

You might feel like laying in bed all day and never seeing anyone again. And it is ok to take a week to yourself to recharge and catch up on sleep if you need to.

But then you better push yourself to get out and hang around good wholesome friends! Science proves that the biggest predictor of happiness is social connectedness.

I found a fascinating video on YouTube explaining the longest scientific study on happiness. To read my thoughts on the topic check out my article, “What Can Single People Learn From the Longest Scientific Study on Happiness?”¬†http://thehappysingle.com/2017/03/30/what-can-single-people-learn-from-longest-scientific-study-on-happiness/

  1. Notice the Little Things

What little things should I notice?

All of the good ones!

Notice the butterfly that just landed on that beautiful yellow flower. Notice the tiny orange goldfish babies in your pond. Notice how your friend took the time to text you and ask if you are staying encouraged. Notice the strong waves and the feel of the sand at the beach. Notice the cool, gentle breeze on a hot summer day. Savor that piece of chocolate. Notice the feel of that satin pillowcase on your face. Enjoy the warmth of your heated mattress pad as you slide into bed after a long day. Notice the joyful laughter of children. Be grateful for the wagging tail of your pet. Just notice and enjoy all the little blessings in your day!

 

  1. Reprogram Your Brain Using Neuroplasticity

What is neuroplasticity?

I hope to write more about this in a future article. Dr. Caroline Leaf conducted some fascinating research in neuroplasticity. Our brains have the power to physically change. We can intentionally rewire our brains.

In this case, I suggest, try to train yourself not to think of your ex too often. When he/she pops into your mind, intentionally try to think of something else. Repeat this over and over throughout your day. Let me know if after a month you think of your ex less often than you do now.

 

Go out and try these tips, and let me know how it goes in the comments below! Remember to follow me on Twitter @HappySingleBlog, and share this article on social media.

 

2 Science Backed Ways to be Happy Single

Here at The Happy Single I love scientific research! When I am researching concepts for my personal life, I like to know that advice is backed up with science. Otherwise, why try it? Read on to learn two science backed ways to get happier as a single person.

 

Exercise

So much scientific research exists on the topic of exercise! An article on Psychology Today is literally titled “25 Studies Confirm: Exercise Prevents Depression.” Exercise releases endorphins that help us feel happier.

An article from Harvard Medical School http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/exercise-and-depression-report-excerpt refers to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Essentially, 156 people were divided into 3 groups. One group took antidepressants. Another group exercised, and the third group both exercised and took antidepressants. Depression eased in all 3 groups, and at 16 weeks into the study, about 60%-70% of participants were no longer clinically depressed.

The great thing is that, as a¬†single¬†person, you can use exercise to be¬†happy. It doesn’t require a romantic partner. You can do it yourself. Or, you can give yourself a bonus happiness booster by adding a platonic friend as your workout buddy.

 

Sleep

When we sleep, our brains repair themselves. Disturbed sleep causes impairment in memory consolidation. See this study.

Optogenetic Disruption of Sleep Continuity Impairs Memory Consolidation. Rolls A, Colas D, Adamantidis A, Carter M, Lanre-Amos T, Heller HC, de Lecea L. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Aug 9;108(32):13305-10.

Let’s face it! Often when we are newly single we have been involved in a traumatic event. Because the human grieving process is so painful, we often want our brains to process through the 5 stages of grief as fast as possible, right? So how can we apply sleep research to become¬†happy singles?

My solution is get more sleep! I prefer not to go much over 12 hours. Aim for a minimum of 8. In addition to giving my brain ample time to shape up, sleep also helps me to spend less time consciously dwelling on the traumatic event.

Here’s a teaser for a future article.¬†Dr. Caroline Leaf did some fascinating research on neuroplasticity. We know that neurons that fire together wire together. So try to purposefully think positively.